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Kansas Secretary of State responds to JoCo Sheriff's claims around election fraud allegations

Sheriff Hayden
Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 18:50:08-04

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan.  — The Kansas Secretary of State is responding to the Johnson County Sheriff's claim that he's received more than 200 claims of fraud from the 2020 election.

Scott Schwab, the Kansas Secretary of State, told the I-Team it's unlikely Hayden received 200 complaints based off the fact that his office has received much less across the entire state.

"We got about 12," Schwab said. "That 200 seems like a big number, because we didn't see those 200. I know Attorney General Schmidt hasn't shared anything of that size of a number either."

In mid-July, Sheriff Hayden spoke at a Constitutional Sheriff's and Peace Officers event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"There’s a lot of stuff going around about what happened at this election," Hayden said. "Quite frankly, I don’t know. But I’m looking."

The I-Team requested to speak with Sheriff Hayden on multiple occasions, but a spokesperson stated Hayden could not comment on an open investigation.

However, Hayden did speak about his investigation at the convention.

"We’ve got a whole lot of reasonable suspicion and we’re starting to develop some probable cause," Hayden said.

Since 2019, Schwab said the SOS has conducted more than 300 election audits.

"We've never had a county fail," Schwab said. "So, when you're hand counting a precinct and it matches what you tabulated after election, I mean where are you finding fraud? You're finding accusations, but the math shows that the elections are secure."

Voters all across the country wonder if their votes will count after former President Donald Trump began the "Big Lie" that there was mass voter fraud.

After multiple recounts and several investigations across the country, no evidence of widespread voter fraud was ever found.

Elections workers have often said people may be untrustworthy of ballot counting process because they don't understand it.

"Whether it's fraud, or people worried about voter suppression, we say the same thing — 'Go be a poll worker,'" Schwab said.

On Thursday, Johnson County gave voters the chance to see how the process works by holding a mock election.

The public test uses what's referred to as a false ballot.

The ballot is sent through a tabulating machine then manually checked for accuracy.

Fred Sherman, the Johnson County Election Commissioner, showed voters the machines are accurate.

"We're accountable and account for every voter and we account for every ballot," Sherman said. "We know how many voters check in and how many ballots are cast and those are equal."

During the conference in Las Vegas, Hayden said, "We’re looking into this stuff now, the problem is, I don’t know anything about elections."

The I-Team asked Hayden if he planned to attend Thursday's event.

A spokesperson said Hayden had another commitment.

Schwab said the sheriff should investigate claims of a crime, but under one condition.

"Yes, if he's got evidence. Absolutely. That is part of their duty is to investigate and prosecute crimes, but there's got to be probable cause and right now, that's not what we're seeing," he said.